Aquaculture hatcheries

Hatcheries are facilities that hold adult broodstock to induce spawning under carefully controlled conditions. This process produces eggs and larvae for on-growing, as well as for the aquarium trade.

Hatcheries supply seed stock to:

  • commercial aquaculture grow-out farms
  • the aquarium trade
  • fish stocking programs.

A hatchery may produce juveniles for sale or it may be part of a larger aquaculture operation.


Queensland hatcheries produce a diverse range of marine and freshwater species from both tropical and temperate climates.



Grow-out aquaculture

Many grow-out aquaculture operations produce juveniles in their own hatchery facilities, while other growers rely on stock produced by independent Queensland hatcheries.

Some grow-out farms source juveniles from interstate hatcheries. You must follow strict translocation and biosecurity protocols when moving or importing aquatic animal stock.

Design and facilities

A hatchery typically contains:

  • a broodstock holding and spawning area
  • feed culture facility
  • larval culture area
  • juvenile culture area
  • pump facilities
  • laboratory and quarantine area.

The design of a hatchery will be determined by:

  • the site requirements
  • the species being produced
  • funding available.


The Aquaculture Association of Queensland offers accreditation for professional commercial hatcheries under its Commercial Hatchery Code of Best Practice.